The lake is still covered in ice and the temperature this morning was under 10 degrees F but it's March so I'm thinking about spring. Which means I'm obsessing over my vegetable garden.

Here in Northern Wisconsin, the growing season is a short, fragile and precious thing. I can't plant tomatoes until June and the first frost comes in early September. Since I start buying seeds and making sketches in February, it's almost true that I plan for longer than I grow. It's two months yet before I'll get lettuce and spinach seeds in the ground, but I'm already up to my elbows in seed catalogs.

This, of course, has nothing to do with my book writing. Except it does. Because there's only so much time and if I'm gardening, I'm not writing. On the other hand, I can't think of a more pleasant way to spend an afternoon than digging in the dirt and dreaming up terrible scenarios for my poor characters. 

If I bought all my summer vegetables and spent those hours here at the typewriter, I might get another book a year out. But then again, I wouldn't spend those pleasant hours getting filthy and seeing the fruits of my labor sprout up on their own. 

Still, I should probably stop mooning over ingenious plant supports and heirloom seeds. There'll be time enough for that when spring actually comes. Any other northern gardeners out there wishing for a nice warm day so they can get to work?